Bogoljub Markovic

Draft Notes: Jelavic, Lewis, De Ridder, Ndiaye, Darlan, Cui, Green Room Invites

Croatian big man Andrija Jelavic is withdrawing from the draft, ESPN’s Jonathan Givony tweets. He had been considered a fringe second-round prospect, ranked No. 77 overall on ESPN’s Best Available list.

A trio of other international prospects — Timotej Malovec, Luka Bogavac and Bogoljub Markovic — are also pulling their names from draft consideration. The deadline for international prospects to withdraw came on Sunday afternoon.

We have more draft-related news:

  • Trinidad and Tobago wing Malique Lewis, ranked No. 76 by ESPN, has also decided to pass on the draft, Givony tweets.
  • Forward Thijs De Ridder will withdraw from the draft, Jon Chepkevich of tweets. He’ll look to build upon a strong ACB and FIBA Europe Cup season with Bilbao Basket and will be automatically eligible for next year’s draft.
  • Senegalese big man Eli Ndiaye and Central African Republic guard Thierry Darlan (G League Ignite) are also pulling out of the draft, according to Givony (Twitter links). Darlan was ranked N0.  84 overall by ESPN.
  • Chinese wing Yongxi Cui kept his name in the draft, Chepkevich tweets. Cui participated in the G League Elite Camp.
  • There have been 21 green room invitations extended to first-round prospects thus far. There will be four more green room invites made this week, according to Givony (Twitter link). The only player to decline an invitation is two-time National Player of the Year Zach Edey, who will watch from Purdue with family, friends and coaches.

Northwest Notes: Blazers’ Draft Options, Wolves’ Workouts, Adelman

With the draft just two weeks away, there’s no consensus on which players the Trail Blazers might land with the seventh and 14th picks, writes Sean Highkin of Rose Garden Report. He examines several mock drafts and notes they have varied widely on Portland’s selections since last month’s lottery.

With a talented backcourt already in place in Portland, Highkin believes the only certainty is that the Blazers won’t take a guard with their first choice. That would eliminate Kentucky’s Reed Sheppard and Rob Dillingham, along with Serbia’s Nikola Topic. However, if a recent ACL injury causes Topic to slide down to the end of the lottery, Highkin thinks Portland might be interested.

UConn center Donovan Clingan is a popular projection to the Blazers in recent mock drafts, but there’s also a chance he could be taken in the top three. Highkin doesn’t expect Portland to trade up for Clingan or any other prospect because there’s a strong chance the team can get a player it likes by staying at No. 7.

Highkin observes that the Blazers’ front office typically focuses on potential upside rather than looking for a player with a high floor. He hears Tennessee’s Dalton Knecht had a strong showing when he worked out in Portland.

There’s more from the Northwest Division:

  • The Trail Blazers are planning to upgrade and expand their practice facility, Highkin adds in a separate story. In February, the team advanced the project by spending $4.6MM to buy a plot of land next to the current facility. The move suggests that owner Jody Allen is in no hurry to sell the franchise, Highkin states.
  • The Timberwolves hosted Texas’ Dylan Disu, Stanford’s Spencer Jones, Serbia’s Bogoljub Markovic, Kentucky’s Antonio Reeves, UConn’s Cam Spencer, and Clemson’s PJ Hall for a pre-draft workout on Wednesday, the team announced (via Twitter). A Sunday workout brought in Utah’s Branden Carlson, Minnesota’s Cam Christie, Serbia’s Nikola Djurisic, Marquette’s Oso Ighodaro, Weber State’s Dillon Jones, and UConn’s Tristen Newton (Twitter link).
  • Bennett Durando of The Denver Post questions why Nuggets assistant David Adelman isn’t getting more consideration from teams that are looking for head coaches. Sources confirmed to Durando that Adelman interviewed this year with the Hornets, Cavaliers and Lakers, but he hasn’t been reported as among the frontrunners for any of those jobs. The Nuggets believe it’s just a matter of time before Adelman gets an opportunity, Durando adds.

DaRon Holmes, Zacharie Perrin Among Draft’s Latest Early Entrants

After testing the draft waters in 2023, Dayton’s DaRon Holmes II has once again entered the draft this year, according to David Jablonski of The Dayton Daily News, who says the junior forward filed his paperwork earlier this month.

The No. 53 prospect on ESPN’s big board of 2024 prospects, Holmes has built an impressive NCAA résumé with the Flyers. He was named the Atlantic 10’s Defensive Player of the Year and co-Player of the Year in 2024 in addition to making the All-Atlantic 10 first team for a second consecutive season. He was also a consensus second-team All-American.

Holmes averaged 20.4 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists, and 2.1 blocks in 32.5 minutes per game for Dayton in 2023/24, posting an impressive shooting line of .544/.386/.713 in 33 games (all starts).

Another player on ESPN’s big board (at No. 75), French power forward Zacharie Perrin announced on Instagram that he’s entering the 2024 NBA draft after spending the season playing for the Antibes Sharkes in France’s LNB Pro B. Perrin began the 2022/23 season at Illinois, but appeared in just one game for the Fighting Illini before leaving the program.

Here are more updates on the early entrants declaring for the NBA draft:

  • Thierry Darlan, a Central African guard who graduated from the NBA Academy Africa and spent the past season with the G League Ignite, is entering the draft, he tells Jonathan Givony of ESPN (Twitter link). Once projected by Givony to be a probable second-round pick in 2024, Darlan no longer shows up on ESPN’s top-100 list for this year after playing a modest role on an Ignite team that finished the G League season with a dismal 2-32 record.
  • Miami freshman guard Kyshawn George, who previously announced that he would be entering the 2024 draft, will forgo his remaining NCAA eligibility and go pro, he confirmed to Givony. George currently ranks 24th overall on ESPN’s board.
  • Yongxi Cui, a 6’7″ wing who graduated from the NBA Global Academy and played for Guangzhou in China this past season, has entered the NBA draft, according to Givony (Twitter link). The 20-year-old played for China’s World Cup team in 2023 before posting solid numbers in the CBA this season (15.9 PPG, 5.7 RPG, 3.1 APG).
  • A trio of players represented by Misko Raznatovic have declared for the draft, the agent announced in a series of tweets. Slovakian forward Timotej Malovec (Mega Basket), Montenegrin combo guard Luka Bogavac (SC Derby), and Serbian power forward Bogoljub Markovic (Mega Basket) are all putting their names in the 2024 draft pool.